Still no contempt notice to Musharraf, 4 governors | Pakistan Today

Still no contempt notice to Musharraf, 4 governors

ISLAMABAD: Irrespective of the fact that almost all the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) judges have resigned, no contempt notice has yet been issued against General (r) Pervez Musharraf and the four governors, who had administered the oath to the PCO judges in blatant violation of the apex court verdict of November 3, 2007.
Of the four governors, the governors of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are still holding their offices and no court has passed any order against them so far. However, in pursuance of the court order, the government has not taken any action against those who were hand in glove with Musharraf regarding the implementation of the PCO.
Soon after the proclamation of emergency by Musharraf, a 7-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, had not only set aside the proclamation of emergency but it had also directed all members of the superior judiciary against taking oath under the new PCO. The court had also restrained all administrative heads from administering a fresh oath to the judges of superior courts.
“The chief of army staff, corps commanders, staff officers and all the civil and military authorities are hereby restrained from acting on the PCO which has been issued or from administering fresh oath to chief justice of Pakistan or judges of the Supreme Court and chief justice or judges of provincial high courts,” the court order read. Legal experts view that the governors had violated the apex court’s decision by administering a fresh oath to the chief justices of the high courts under the PCO despite the fact that the court had already restrained them from doing so.
Supreme Court Bar Association President Qazi Muhammad Anwar told Pakistan Today that the argument was valid and bona fide. However, he said this might open another Pandora’s box. “This is true that the seven-member bench of the apex court had restrained the civil and military officials from administering fresh oath to the judges. However, later the decision was only implemented on the judges as they had been informed of the apex court verdict through the registrar of the Supreme Court who had faxed the copies of the decision to all high courts,” he said.
“Though the electronic media had aired the apex court decision and all the civil and military officials should have implemented this verdict, the four governors and Gen Musharraf can still be issued contempt notices,” he said. Senator SM Zafar said since the governors and General Musharraf had violated the Supreme Court verdict, they could be summoned and handed over contempt notices.
“But the onus is on the judges who had defied the verdict, only the PCO judges were issued contempt notices,” he added. Zafar said the Supreme Court had observed a distinction between the judges and the civil and military bureaucracy, as they wanted to cleanse the judiciary. However, Justice (r) Tariq Mehmood said the verdict was only meant for the judges as they had been informed of the SC judgement.
“This is why the SC in its July 31 decision dismissed all PCO judges. Moreover, in the verdict of Sindh High Court Bar Association, the SC registrar was quoted as saying that he had faxed the verdict to all high courts,” he added. He said the court took no action against Gen Musharraf or the governors who had administered oath to PCO judges.
Babar Sattar said the governors should have been issued contempt notices as they had administered oath to the PCO judges in violation to the November 3 verdict. “Though the apex court had only held the judges accountable in its July 31 decision, no action had been recommended for non-judicial officers who were abettors. Even not a single word has been used for General (r) Musharraf.
Moreover, in the case of the Sindh High Court Bar Association, no consequential direction has been given,” he added. He said the SC had given consequential directions in some fake degree cases as well as the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), no consequential verdict was issued in July 31 judgement. He said the judiciary did not touch any military or civil bureaucrat and only a line was drawn for judicial officers.



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